1.4.1 Low rail density
The Dual-Mode principle makes it possible to serve many users with only a few rails and stations unlike a Light Rail system (LRT).
Since the guideway is normally the most expensive part of a system, it is important to minimize the length of the required guideway.
It is also important that the RUF guideway is able to use the existing Right Of Way, either in the middle of a major road or along a railroad corridor.
Very little ground work is needed if the guideway is placed as an elevated monorail in the middle of major roads. The masts can be mounted very quickly and rail modules can be produced at a factory under ideal conditions and moved to the construction site via the finished guideway itself. The normal traffic on the street will only be subjected to minor disruptions during the short erection phase.
A RUF rail network covering the Los Angeles area will cost around $18 billion and include 100 stations, 50,000 MAXI-RUFs and 600,000 public RUFs.
The guideway is estimated to cost $7 million per mile of bi-directional guideway.
The attractive features of such a system will no doubt appeal to many people, and it is estimated that the investment will be paid back in less than 5 years.
Time savings and the reduced number of accidents as well as the improved air quality has not been included in this calculation. The use of private RUFs will increase the profit gained by the system operator, as the rail investment has already been paid for by the public part of the system. The capacity of the system is large enough to be able to reduce the freeway congestion significantly.
1.4.2 Low cost guideway
The RUF guideway is loaded with 300 kg per meter. This is a load which is much smaller than the load from trains in an elevated Light Rail system where the load is 1000 kg per meter.
Since the cost of the guideway is the main part of the total system cost, it is very important that the cost per meter is the lowest possible. At RUF International we calculate the cost to be $7mio/mile of bidirectional rail.